Malaria? I'll run it off

Anyone who has ever woken up on a Sunday morning with the hangover from hell, knowing that they’ve got to drive to a claggy pitch in the middle of nowhere to get lumps kicked out of them by a 15-stone lunatic, knows the temptation of staying in bed and telling your teammates that you’re a bit poorly. Even if it does make you a massive tart.

So spare a thought for Chelsea centre forward Didier Drogba, who has been suffering from malaria while still putting in blockbusting performances for the champions. Makes your dickey tummy look like the pathetic excuse it truly is, doesn’t it?

‘I want to score every game but when you can't, when you're not 100%, it's better to try a way to help your team, maybe creating assists, maybe defending a little bit more,’ Drogba said. ‘I think I'll get better and start to score again and if that's what people want I think I can do that.

‘When you don't know exactly what it is and it's not treated, it can come and go. You have some weeks when the fever can be high, that's what I had, but now it will be better. Unfortunately we only found out (on Monday) it was malaria but I've had it for a month now. Now we know exactly what it is we can go forward.

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